6 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
“God said to him, ‘Your name is Jacob; you will no longer be named Jacob, but your name will be Israel.’ So he named him Israel.”
Genesis 35:10 (CSB)
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
One of the activities that we see God doing over and over on the pages of Scripture is this – He delighted to change people’s names.
Genesis 17:5 (CSB): “Your name will no longer be Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of many nations.”
Genesis 17:15 (CSB): “God said to Abraham, ‘As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai, for Sarah will be her name.’”
We see this even as we open the pages of the New Testament.
John 1:40-42 (CSB): “He first found his own brother Simon and told him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated ‘the Christ’), and he brought Simon to Jesus. When Jesus saw him, he said, ‘You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas’ (which is translated ‘Peter’).”
What’s the deal with all of the name changes?
Simply this … God delights to give people a new identity. He loves to take them as they are and change them into something much more wonderful, much more usable for Him and a blessing to others.
No one can truly hear the call of Jesus to follow Him without expecting to be changed as a result.
Just listen to what Jesus told some men who eventually became His Apostles. He would take them as they were but He would develop them into something different.
Matthew 4:18-20 (CSB): “As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter), and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. ‘Follow me,’ he told them, ‘and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”
And Jesus is still doing this today! When we were saved by trusting in Jesus, He changed us! We weren’t the same person. He gave us a new identity as He did a creative work within us. We were born again and, as a result, we were a new creation.
John 3:3 (CSB): “Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”
2 Corinthians 5:17 (CSB): “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!”
Salvation isn’t simply a decision. It is a new birth! It is the formation of a new creation!
Friend, God loves you! He loves you just the way you are! But, He loves you too much to leave you the way you are.
So, as you follow Him, allow Him to do what He does best – change you into the image of His dear Son. That’s one of the tell-tell signs that we belong to Him. He’s forming Christ within us (Galatians 4:19), making us into something new and wonderful.
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Lord Jesus, thank You for saving me. Thank you for giving me a new identity. I am so grateful that You love me more than I could ever possibly imagine. But, I also thank you that you love me too much to allow me to stay as I am. You desire to change me, to make me more like You. I am Your willing servant as You do this work in my life. Amen.